Think of Ulysse Nardin and the first thing that is likely to spring to mind is the Freak collection.

One of the brand’s most defining lines, the Ulysse Nardin Freak collection was created in 2001 under the auspices of the late founder Rolf Schnyder. Why it’s so intriguing? It features no dial, hands, or crown, and challenges the traditional mould of what a watch should look like.

Last year, Ulysse Nardin released the Freak X at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) and was largely lauded by watch enthusiasts for its fantastic price point. The new innovations introduced to the Freak X also made headlines, one of which is the silicium marquetry technique. This approach is completely new to the world of watchmaking and uses a plasma accelerator to cut and assemble silicon wafers. It is a rather delicate process because of how thin the wafers are and any misstep during the assembly process can cause the wafers to chip.

Ulysse Nardin
(Image credit: Ulysse Nardin)

This year, Ulysse Nardin is releasing two new variants of the Freak X series — Freak X Ice and Freak X Magma. Inspired by the forces of nature, namely the stoic polar ice floes and the majestic volcanoes respectively, the unique engineering and design of these two models elevate the Freak concept to a whole new level.

Both watches feature the UN-230 self-winding movement, a masterpiece of Ulysse Nardin’s legendary watchmaking. The Freak X Magma is made from a combination of ultra-light carbon fibre and red, marbled epoxy resin. Ultra-light and scratch-resistant, the Superluminova applied on red allow the wearer to read the time even at night. The Freak X Ice comes with an adjustable, white leather strap with rubber coating and a folding clasp. Both watches also feature an open case-back and a 72-hour power reserve.

This article was first published on Prestige Online Singapore.

Chee Boon Tan